There are few kitchen chores that are less fun than washing dishes. It can be boring, kinda gross and even difficult! Below you’ll find a big list of our favorite dishwashing tips and tricks. We’ll walk you through cleaning the most overwhelming mess, how to make the task more fun, and offer up all the pointers to help you find the chore not-so-terrible after all.
1. Try the “one soapy sponge” policy
If you hate washing dishes and find it to be the absolute worst, try this mind-trick. Instead of looking at a big pile of dishes, instead enforce the “one soapy sponge” policy. Lather up the sponge and wash as many dishes as you can get through. When it’s time to re-load the sponge, put it down and move onto something else. Come back for the rest of the dishes later once you’ve had time to recover or continue with small rounds of “one soapy sponge” until it’s finished!
2. Turn mesh produce bags into DIY pot scrubbers
You know those mesh produce bags you get when you buy a dozen lemons or almost anything in bulk? Well, don’t toss them! Instead, place an old sponge inside the bag, secure it with a zip tie and clip the ends off. Ta-da! You’ve got a DIY pot scrubber that can handle your dirtiest pan.
3. Chopsticks can help glasses dry
When you’ve run out of room in your dishwasher, lay out a towel and put some chopsticks parallel to each other. Put upside-down glasses along the chopsticks so that the water can drip out and air can circulate around them.
4. Stop washing everything
We know what you’re thinking—aren’t you a cleaning company!? Seriously, though, just because you used something, doesn’t mean it needs to be washed. Maybe you used a measuring cup to dole out some walnut pieces? Or a teaspoon to measure out some salt? Give yourself a pass and slip those hardly-dirty items back into the drawer, skipping the sink or opting for a quick rinse instead. Obviously, do not skip the wash if your item has touched raw meat, oil or eggs. Along this mindset, use fewer dishes to start with. For instance, have a cup you use for all day water? Use it for iced tea, or whatever you decide to drink later too.
5. Get your gloves on
Yes, they look dorky and like you’re about to clean some type of hoarder situation rather than just your kitchen sink, but dish gloves can save your manicure and help hands stay silky smooth. Plus, you’ll be able to use even hotter water that helps loosen stuck on gunk and foods. Extra bonus, your grip will be better on every dish you grab.
6. Let the stove do the work for you
Accidentally stepped away from a pan while you had onions cooking? Oops! Now you have a hard-to-scrub mess, but hold off on the elbow grease. Adding some water and baking soda to your pan or dutch oven and putting it on a medium low heat—it will practically clean itself!
7. Embrace the power of lemons
Here at Boulder Clean, we’ve embraced the power of citrus for a long time in our products. Did you know half a lemon can help you clean cutting boards, rusty knives and even gunky cheese graters? Yep! Here’s a deeper dive into dishwashing tips with lemons and how you can clean some of those items we mentioned:
- How to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board with Lemon and Salt
- Use This Trick to Eliminate Rusty Spots on Your Knives
- Ingenious Way of Cleaning Your Cheese Grater
8. Invest in the right dish brush for you
The right dish brush will help make your life so much easier when it comes to the kitchen sink. You can get brushes that automatically dispense soap, or one with a really long arm to help keep you away from the actual mess you’re cleaning up. We’ll also go ahead and mention that a great strainer helps a ton to catch bits that you don’t want running down the drain while keeping the water from stopping up.
9. Put on some music or a podcast
If you’re not already listening to something enjoyable while you’re doing the dishes—what are you doing!? This is most likely our favorite dishwashing tip. Especially when you’ve got a large pile to get through, prep by popping in your earbuds and starting some music, podcast or audiobook to help distract you from the task at hand. Soon enough you’ll be dancing while doing the dishes—who is this new cleaning goddess?
10. Enlist your partner to help!
Dish duty does not have to be a solo job! Wash and dry with your partner, or set up some type of system “I cook, you clean” in your house to make sure all of the work is being evenly distributed.
11. Wash dishes by type
Get organized by grabbing all of the forks from the bottom of the sink and wash those first. After those have been added to the dishwasher, move on to spoons, knives, glasses, plates and so on until each category of dish in your sink is out of the picture. You’ll be able to work faster because it’s easier to clean 2 knives at the same time rather than a knife and a plate together. Major plus: your dishwasher will be so organized that putting the dishes up afterwards will also be an ease.
12. Keep things out of the sink
If your sink is full of dirty dishes, you’re going to have a hard time washing them since they’re all in the way. Plus, if you put, say, wooden cutting boards and a cast iron skillet, they could end up in standing water which will cause the boards to warp and cast iron to rust. Stack dishes next to the sink and only soak what needs to be soaked.
13. Soak water bottle pieces
Water bottles are so convenient and good for the environment—and also so annoying to clean. Miss some of those nooks and crannies and you’ll have mold on your hands pretty quickly. Instead of standing at the sink with a toothbrush painlessly scrubbing, soak the pieces in water with a touch of dish soap overnight.
14. Let things clean themselves
Blenders, whisks, slow cookers—all things we love. All things that are hard to clean. Luckily, all of these items can generally clean themselves. Add some dish soap and water to your blender and run it for a cycle until it’s de-gunked. Add dish soap and warm water to a bowl and whisk away until all those wires are sparkling clean. Finally, fill your slow cooker with water, vinegar, and baking soda, and turn it on. It’ll cook off crusty food and then you just have to give the insert a quick wash.
15. Use Boulder Clean dish soap
Extra sudsy with strong, natural scents you can enjoy! Boulder Clean dish soap is a high-performer in the kitchen made with all plant-based ingredients. The suds actually last while loosening grease and grime to slide right off as you scrub. Plus, in addition to all the dishwashing tips you just learned, cleaning will be even easier.